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tv   Worldfocus  WETA  January 14, 2010 5:30pm-6:00pm EST

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> tonight on worldfocus. >> tonig our indepth lokat haiti in runs. asid from around the wor begins to arri, president oba tells the pple of haiti you will not be foresaken. an estimate 3 million haitians may need help. the hartbreaking story of night on the streets. the living, the dead andhose who are out to ente a world in turmoil. how decades of politica inability lead to hardshipnd suffering. >>and well befre the rthquake, iti's environmen at disaster, e causes consequences ocutting down the rrests. from th different perspectives of reporters and
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analysts aund the globe. this is worldfus. > major support has been provid by rosalin dw p. waer. and the peter g. peteon foundation. and additional funding is provided by the flowingsupporrs- good evening, welcome to "worldfocus." i'm daljit dhaliwaln new york. the mgnitude of the loss of lifend devastationfrom haiti's earthqua became more appant today as the red cross estited that 45 to 50,000 people were lled, and a growing international rescue effort struggledo save the injured from dying. eight organizationsay as many as threeillion people, that is one third of haiti's populion
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may be in need of help, injured or left homeless from th quake. food a water, heavy equipment, medical supplies, the airport in port-au-prince described as a military hub. prident barack obama pledged $100 million toda and he told the ople of hiti they will not beforgotn. foreign rescue teams joined the search ofeople still trapd an possibly alive in theubble tens of thousands of buildings. ey're numbers are known and their time is runni o. a shortime ag we ske with laura bla of the relief group world visionbout what she saw in port-au-prince >> as you co upon a collapsed building, there were men and women climbing o top of it with y too they could find to try to break the concte, the metal and ge people outhat a
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still trapped in thebuildings. there's a lot toe done, we ha theresources, weeed to get out ther and start being ab to distbute some of the pplies. >> tonig the world is focused on haiti in ruins. almost ery major news organization has st ports, and we bing you some of the best of that coverage. we start withaul davis of itn who captured the unimaginable suffering, thefrustration and the anger of haiti after the quake. >> even now it is start ha to take in the scale of the devastatn and loss of life leashed on thicity on tuesday night. its people, the suivors appear traumatized. too frighten toove to the buildings stil standing. waiting in the streets for hp that in st caseshas ye to arrive. in t despairthere's also anger. >> we have no ectricity, nothg.
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no food, no water, nothing. ere's too many people dying. >> reporter: thousands have gathered in areas of open space. this is where theylept last night. among them incredibly arpeople carrying theinjured, despately in need ofreatment yeso long afterhe eartuake, they've yet to receive it. the international help can't get he too soon. for ousands, it's already too late. there are bodi everywhere, left in the roadside while the y's population struggleso care for the liing. in thedevastation, the hunt at bued survivors continues. most of itcarried outwith bare has. >> that was father's hoe. we lose it. my mother -- >> now, now, we have somedy here. >> there's some -- >> we get firemen. we don't have a lot -- >> reporter: it's gog to take lot of equipment that haiti
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doesn't have to searc through destructn like this. an earthquak that did this to theresidential palace, completely flatten large areas of smellings. america's special ambassador to haiti made an otional promise to help. >> have been working in heartbreaking circumstances lik this f three decad now. what we ed now is food, ter, supplies for first a and shelter. we haveot to find out who's alive. weave to care f the people who ar dead. and to try to preserve them so their loved ones can idtify them. >> repter: the first international d is now starting to arrive in port-aprince. where thnumber of bodies to be covered and survivors t be help is still thought to run into tens of thousands. pauldavis,itv news. now, let's get another view from a reporter on the ground i
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hait an extraordinary look at those who ve svived and thos who d not. their world's now merged. it comes to us through the eyes of sebasti walkerf al jazeera english who walked las night througthe streets of the catal of port-aprince. it is hard totake, b impossible toignore. >> reporter: as we dro through the seets, evidence of t damage the quake caed was everywhere. building after building, body after body men, women a especially chdr childr. this is the cond dark night the peop of port-au-prince have had to sufr. everody here issleeping outdoors afterhat's happened, they're undersndably terrified of sleeping insi. here they're siing religious
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songs to ge them through the night. on one side of the road people huddleto get some rest. on t opposite side of the stre, just a few feet away, e bodies of theiroved ones. no one here has much food or ter. weaw littlevidence of inteational help for these people on our journey through the ry center of the city, the area that'been worst hi we psed no rescue operations more than 24 hours after the earthqua struck. >> thiis where peopl have come tosleep. they say they're afraid t go back into thr houses,they ink something else may happen. inne corner of e square there's a woman having a baby. it's unrtain just h bad the first days of her new child's
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life could get. sebastian waker, al jazeera, port-aprince, haiti. joining us now for more on the relie effort is man who has had de experience coordinating such efforts. michl coker, vice president of the international programor the international rescue committee. thank you very much for joing us on the ogram. weust saw areport showing iti last night with no aid in sight. some aid did begino arrive in hai today. how would you assess the respse? >> well, i think it's obviously in stages. you have an overwhelmed airport that's at capaci, and th by land from the dominican republic. but i think we are seeing the aid effort is rampin up. surely, today,tomorrow and in the coming dayit will ramp up substantiall >> will some pple get someid today?
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>> ll, it's capital cit of three milln. i don't kn that we can say they'll start tting aid today, t it's begun. the search a rescue effort that's underway now requires heavy equipment, rescue teams, search dogs and so on. the number one priorit is to save as many lives as possibl as people search through buildings. buat the same time y have to make sure that clean water is provided. sanitation facilities hygiene. and health services. the risk for example o continated water, we have to remember, prt-au-prince had problemsith clean water before it's been exaceated trendously now. a number of things haveo happ all at once. >> tho types of things, a type of aid that's needed immediately in the next few days, the next week or so? >> absolutely. i think a tremendous emphasis
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s to be placedn clean water. and food distribution seems to needed as well. >> talk a little bit about the obstacles to gting the relief to the people who need it? >> sure. i tnk the infrastructure. have you a number of roads tha ve been destroyed o badly damaged. i thk you're goingto have a lot of traffic on these roads and u have aid vehicl as well. as i said ther are ly so manyccess points from the port, the airport,he dominican repuic. i think youave a choactor that's poible. e density of traffic and the amount of material going in. i think that'soing to get sortedut pretty quicy. it's not unusual, we saw that in other examples of catastrophes of such scalesround the rld. i'm optimistic that in the fst few days a lot of logistical issues will beorted out. if i can add, this is-- mainly the damage as i understand it,
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is confid to a singl urban area a large one, ctainly, three million people. unlike the tsunamihere there were hndreds of sque miles covered and difficult t access aces. ing to be port-au-prince are and s immediate enviroents. >> briefly what about the haitn authority. are e officia ableo coordinate the eort? >> think it's beginning. i think there'soing to have to be concerted effortith the united natis, and the relief communities. >> thank youor joining us. thank you. haiti's histy is hardship and turmoil that goes back many years and was so centuries ago as you'll hear fr our next report. the key role of the uted states for betterr worsen haiti's recent history. >>eporter: unlike the
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earthquake tt's focused internationalttention on it once again, haiti's fatehas not inevitable. once t richest colony in the americas, hai was established as the fst black republic. under threat of invasion, t country agreed to compensate france for lo of propey. a debt that took 120 years to repay. and launched a cycle of debt, depend ens a instability. after almost three decades of diatorship, former catholic priest genal bertrand aristeed was ected. just nine months later, he w ousted in amilitary coop. death squads raaged through thcoury. terrorizingaristeed pporters.
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bill clinton and a fleetf u.s. marinesacked aristeed return to power. but not before he agreed to economic adjustment, monitored by the wld bank, mked by downsizing privatization an deregulaon. tariffs on foreign rhts for example, were slashed from 50% to 3% in weeks. and subsidize imports from the united states flood the country forcing many o hai's farmers out ofbusiness, off theirarms and into urban sls. arised's secon term president end in him being oustedgain. support for him still runs high in iti's poor neighbooods. the united states sent troops, and the united nations authoriz a peaceeping mission to pacify the gangs and some say the aristeed supporters in t country'sslum. the u.n.ission has been controversial in haiti. accused of killing
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indiscriminately the people 's suppos to beprotecting. since 2006, the country has continued struggle for stabilit in 08, foururricanes kild at least 800 pple and caused more than a billion dollars in damage. oath last year it did international financial institutio and the united states finally cance haiti's 1$1.2 billi debt. the u.n. has appointe clinton its special envoy f haiti as international aid begins flowing into the cotry once again, the queion remains. can a former u.s. president and ign aid really deal with the afrshocks of haiti's history? avi lewis, al jazeer >> f moreon haiti's history of hardshi we're joinedy our editorial consultt, peter eisner, a long-time correspondent who spealizes in
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latin america d the cariean. good to see ou, peter. lookinat the entrencd oblems that iti already faced, what you see as some of the main challenges for organizing a relief fort there? >> well, we're really starting at groundero here. we have to get into so basics. serity, basic housin water, sanitation. thesare issues th are going to be mediate and i tnk that the united states is gng to have to ta the leadn basically makg this country start to work immediate. it's goingo be a veryery toh start and we're not going toet out of the woods for a lo time. >> what kindf efforts do you ink t united states can make, ould make in terms of the longer term picture here, rebuding haiti from the ground up in many respects? >> wel, this is th opportunity to move beyond -- after we get thingsocked down,nd i really
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expect thau.s. armed forc are going to have to play aig role here. afteall, the u.n. is in there now, but the brazians are runninthe show, with a number of otrs. buthey're overwhelmed. and the americans first are goingto have to make things settle down. long ter the united stas has got too what it's aays had to do. it has t attack the ep, long-seed problems of povey. itas to work o infrastructure. transportaon of every possible way, the united stas is going to have to rebuild iti andt is rlly the country that's going to be king the lead re. >> peter, the are those that would say, holdon t united states is already stretcd th, overseas, people sw up, but also at homes, why sould it be responsibleor taking a ading role in haiti's recovery? let's bring in other organizations, let's leave it to the uted tions? >> well, there areany reasons, certainly we do need int
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internatnal help. the ornization of american states has t play a part. but the unitedtates historically, econically and in terms of humanity has to play a g role he. you talk about a failed state, talk about t fears, the litical fes, the concerns of the futureor aailed state, close to us, tt aloneeans that t united states has to be involved. then if you just thinkabout the fact that thereare so many haitians in th united states. millions and sohe ties between the united stas and htire strong. anfinally,of course, just in pure terms of humaty, this is a tragedy that'salready existed, and now we'veotten to a levelhat is uelievable and unprecedente the united states has the opportunity toive up to its respsibility as a world leader in bringing haiti back. itust be done. >> peter, thank you veryuch for joing us from washington,
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d.c.. >> my pleasure. >> and we uld also like to hear what you think. our question toght is what role suld the unit states play in building haiti? you can give us your opinion b going to the how yee it section of our website at let' take a look at some other news from around the wod now, and fit wen in iran, where the funeral was held today for a scientist killed on tuesday in tehran. abou1,000 people atteed the funeral for a physi profeor wh supported th opposition, and who diedwhen a motorcycle rigged wh a bomb exploded outse his home. eyewitnesss said aut half of
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those at t funeral were oppositi members. iran's semiofficial news agency said they chaed what it called viant slogans. in pistan, another missile atck from an uanned u.s. dron targeted a former school where taliban leers were said toe meeting. it took place in the north waziristan area. intelligence officialsand militanttold the associated prs that masso tu d survived the attack. > chinagave its first official response todayfter google sa it wouldtop sensorg search results in cha and thaten to shut down because of the attemptso break into the-mail accounts of human rights activists. google's building has become a shrine for tho callingor
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greater freedom of expression on the internet. if you listen to a foreign mistry spokesman that is not an issue. >> i just wanted tostress that chins internet isopen. china's government promes the development of the ternet. an envirment add kuwait for a health healthy intern. >> china's people's daily newspaper warns that companies must abide by what one official called propagda discipline. finally tonight, our signaturstory and a look at haiti, before is week's earthquake. yestery we showed you the struggle to find fod in a country where 18% of he polation lives in poverty. tonight anotheconsequence of that poverty, the broad impact on haiti's environment. in atory we first brought you early last year byworldfocus
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special rrespondent benno schmidt, the fos was on the devaation of aiti's forrests. >> one by one they fall. machete to the forrest floor, these trees wille recycled into furniture, books, brooms, crafted by hemingwalike artisans w work for hours. in haiti, not a scrap of wood i waed. a once beautiful tropical nation, now home to environmenl catastrophe. >> you c see thing here that u may notsee anywhere else in the world. >> the humanitarn coordinator in haitias seen the mos troubled environmental spotsn th plet. bu haiti's uniquy horrible. with only 2% of its tre remaining, a 36 tons of topsoil, trash and other debris washed intthe cariban each year
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and all this eironmental damage is doing great enomic damage to the isla naion. >> every year people become even poorer, despit the effort from the community, tir own efforts. they slideurther dn. >> reporter:any say they ha no choice. hacking down the treess their only way to survive. evenhough they knowt's killing haiti's enironment. marsellis luis is tical that way. >> the land is mine and i have other ans. >> the trees are burn into charcoal and used for cooking and to heat mes. in haiti, gas stovesre too expensive, and ectricity a luxury. black charcoalseverywhere. sent into market to fuel family shks, roadside snack bars and primitive estaurants. whil millions creat homes from tras and where sewage and food
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mix frly, environmental concerns are therealm of the privilege, feigners or workers. everyone els is tryi to survive. george worleyhas watchedthe struction of haiti's environment fordecades, he says th haiti o today is far from the beautiful gree island he remembers. it's anitmare. it's a nightmare. >> is there anything left to save? or is it already been raped, killed a put to rest environmentally. >> we do have the people, and that'she challenge we have to work for right now. >> people cannot stand in the way of nature stop mudslides that bury anentire community. no trees means those mudslides arnearly guaranteed when it ins here. and entire cities are vulnerable during hurrine season. nearly after a year one of
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iti's largest citi was levelled, peoplere still digging out ashe u.n. coordites reliefefforts. thenvironmental damageextends to the sea as well. haiti's coral reefs and marin life once some othe most beautiful anywhere, are devasted, pushingeeding fish away from fishermen. >> we do woy about getting diseas but we're resigned to it. what else can we do? >> this ma can tae the difference ithe fish ey catch as conditions deteriorate >> there are fish th eat copper, and when catch them and eat them, we get sick. >> fishermen can spend up to seven hours each day woing these filthy waters. and because the pollution is so bad, often times when they do pull up these huge nets, the only cch of t day is fish. haiti's prime minter tlls rldfocus, she wants to save
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what little is left here, but corruption a little money hurt herefforts. after two years i'm supposed spend here, it's still the same. not th there will be miracs, bui think thgs have to done. it's unbearable that ople live under those conditions. >> conditions that have become a peanent way of le fo millions living among ash, eating foo not fit for animals, and finding harder and harder to survive as the trees ey pend on are now arly ne. this is benno schmidt reportg for wldfocus. th is "worldfocus" for this thursday, a reminder, there a lot moreews and pepective while yore there, be sure to drop us a line about the program. thk you for joining us, we'll
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see you back here at the same time tomorw. until then goo bye. major suppt for worldfocus has been provided by rosalind walters and the peter g. peters foundation. and additnal funding is provid by the following supporters.
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